The Age of Big Data

Recently Canvas broadcasted their version of BBC’s “The Age of Big Data”. The premise is that over the last few years, we produce more information than 2000 years ago. Social media, Internet search results, scientific experiments, the stock market are just a few examples of our immense databases and information treasures. But this information first has to be mined before you can leverage. The key to every database that is beyond our imagination is the algorithm.  In the documentary, a few clear examples were given of our ability to process huge amounts of data.  In Los Angeles, crimes are predicted before they occur, in the City the mathematician is the most wealthy, and in South Africa scientists are listening to each and every star in the universe. In overall, it was a good screening. The focus was algorithms, and hence The Age of Big Data failed to address other concerns like how data is extracted, integrated and loaded in a target database. Another imporant idea is privacy and security. Then again, my world is biased of course.

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